Last week I did a presentation for the Joomla Users Group in New York, and did a David Letterman-style top ten list twice. The first list was “Top Ten Thing to Explain to Joomla Learners” and here’s the second … ten way to improve your Joomla site’s SEO:
Top Ten Joomla SEO Improvements
Its easy to weigh down your Joomla site with too many extensions that load too many scripts and a template that’s contains enough files and images to keep 100,000 different users happy. Keep your site leighweight and speedy. Use the Webpage Analyzer and Anthony Ferrara’s Performance Grader to find slow spots with your site.
9) Metadata Titles
I normally explain that metadata has a sliding scale of value: “the title is vital, the description is useful, the keywords are useless”. So the one metadata item you can’t control and edit with Joomla is … the title. That’s what shows in the browser bar and in search engine results. sh404SEF, SEF Advance, Artio SEF and the SEF Patch can solve this.
8) RSS Feeds
Joomla 1.5 is an improvement over 1.0 in this regard, but you’re not able to customize your feeds or track subscribers. This is an easy solution.
7) H1 Tags
Nowadays these are more important for accessibility than SEO but its still worth implementing. sh404SEF, SEF Advance and Zaragoza Article Header can all do this for you.
6) 404 Error Page
With a custom 404 Error page you can track which broken links people are using to access your site and send them on their way with useful information. sh404SEF, SEF Advance, Artio SEF can do this.
Submitting a sitemap to Google and Yahoo won’t help your ranking, but it will help your site get indexed more quickly. Xmap and the SEF Service Map are all good options.
3) Clear Global Configuration Metadata
Isn’t metadata meant to describe what’s on each page of your site? So, unless each page is the same, why do you have the same metadata on each page? More here.
After getting out in the field and doing a lot of Joomla training sessions, I’ve realised that people understand this word much better than “Search Engine Friendly URLs”, “Human Friendly URLs” or other variations. Permalinks are common in WordPress, Blogger and nearly all blogging systems. It simply means “One page, One URL”. Despite their recent denials, Google more-or-less admitted last week that having multiple URL for one page is a problem (duplicate content) and they proposed a solution. Once again, sh404SEF, SEF Advance and Artio SEF are the options.
1) 3rd Party Extensions
Not all third extensions are well optimized. Some can be devestating so choose carefully. Learn from this guy: “when I activated the Events Calendar I did not configure it to “not” display months, weeks or days that did not have an event scheduled. The Googlebot indexed empty calendar event pages out until the year 3,500 (so basically I have over 80k duplicate pages)”